Richmond Council decides to ban allotment bonfires from 30 April 2019

At the cabinet meeting on Thursday, 14 February 2019, Richmond Council decided that all bonfires on allotments will be banned from 30 April 2019.  The Borough of Richmond Allotments Group (BRAG) will be making a submission through official channels to have this decision reviewed and BHAS Allotments has representation in BRAG.

An allotment bonfire ban will impact plotholders who would find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove non-compostable material from the allotments, including those who are elderly, do not own cars or live in flats.  We would like to ask our East Sheen Allotment plotholders to contact their councillors if they do not agree with this decision.  Councillors for each area can be found by going to the Council website.

There is also a petition set up by a plotholder on the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRuT) website enabling individuals to register their support for overturning the ban.  The more who sign up to this, the stronger the case will be to review the decision.  Follow this link to access the petition.

Save the date for 2019 Open Day – 12 May

Save the date

Mark your calendars for the 2019 BHAS Open Day for 12 May from 2-5pm.  Our Open Day is confirmed and we’ve love for you to join us for the afternoon.  Information about the day can be found on the Events page – so stay tuned as plans develop.

What is Open Day?

Open Day is a way for our community to wander around the allotments and get inspiration for your own plot or garden as well as socialise with our allotment community.  Activities for kids are in the works, so it’s a great family afternoon.

We will be selling afternoon teas so come hungry!

Volunteer

In preparation for the day, you can also help the BHAS Allotment Society by:

  • planting seeds to sell at the plant sale, and
  • volunteering to help on the day.

If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact us!

Hope to see you there.

At Plot…36 with Pam Islip

Each month we are getting to know our allotment neighbours a bit better. For October, we have been chatting to Pam Islip who is at plot 36 at the Priory allotment site.

How long have you had an allotment in East Sheen?

For about 25 years.

What jobs have you been doing on the allotment this month?

Still harvesting tomatoes, weeding, watering, general tidying up, cutting the grass, shortly be sowing broad beans* (Aquadulce Claudia).

What crop has done well this year?

Tomatoes, courgettes, mixed lettuce, French beans (green, yellow and purple), aubergines.

What are you planning to grow next season?

Far too much but I’m very popular with my neighbours!

What’s your favourite recipe to make with your harvest?

Griddled Courgette with Tzatziki

For the courgette

  • Slice courgette lengthways about ½cm
  • Rub olive oil onto both sides
  • Place onto hot griddle pan (makes nice brown stripes if you press it down occasionally) for about 4 mins
  • Turn and do the same for the other side

Meanwhile

For the tzatziki

  • Grate a small cucumber into a clean tea towel
  • Squeeze until lots of liquid removed
  • Place in a bowl and add 2 crushed garlic cloves, salt, lots of thinly sliced mint leaves and Greek yoghourt. Add it bit by bit until you get the consistency you want.

And given how many tomatoes I grew this year, I always serve with tomatoes.

In addition to gardening of course, do you have any other hobbies or skills?

Hiking, bird watching, opera, fungi, art exhibitions, British Museum/British Library/V&A exhibitions and anyone who knows me will tell you I’m always taking exotic adventure holidays as I love travelling.

*Here is my tip for growing broad beans

I don’t spray my crops as there’s really no need with careful management. When the black fly appear (as they most certainly will) there’s no need to pinch out the tops. Every couple of days (or every day if you can) use the hose and your finger tips to squish the black fly and wash them off. After a short time, they will fail to reappear and because you’ve been watering well, your beans will have benefitted and will grow high.

Our thanks to Pam for taking the time to answer our questions this month and provide a look into her allotment world.  If you’d like to be interviewed for next month’s newsletter, please contact us!

Garlic varieties for sale at Trading Shed

Three varieties of garlic are expected to arrive at the Trading Shed this week; they will be available for £1.30 per bulb, so please stop by during open hours to pick up your garlic bulbs for planting.

The Trading Shed is open every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am – 12:00pm until 16th December and is one of the many benefits of being a BHAS members.  Joining BHAS is easy and only costs £10 for the year.

Updated Bonfire Rules from September 2018

Please be aware that Richmond Council has recently updated its Allotment Terms and Conditions around bonfires as of September 2018.  BHAS has updated our FAQs to reflect this update on our site.

For reference, the excerpt around bonfires in the Terms and Conditions now reads:

“Bonfires are only permitted between 16 September and 30 April during daylight hours, Monday to Saturday.

Bonfires can only be used under the following conditions:

  • Only for burning plant matter that cannot be composted (no other materials to be burnt)
  • Nuisance must not be caused to nearby tenants, residents, and road or rail users
  • Fires must not be left unattended
  • Suitable means must be at hand to control and extinguish the fire at any time
  • Fires must be extinguished before leaving site
  • Any fire must be extinguished immediately upon request of a council officer

Any plot holder contravening these conditions will be dealt with via the termination policy.”

At Plot…51 with Ronnie Bendall

Each month we are getting to know our allotment neighbours a bit better. For September, we have been chatting to Caroline (Ronnie) Bendall and is at plot 51 (also known as Area 51!) at the Hertford Avenue allotment site.

How long have you had an allotment in East Sheen?

I was first shown the plot, commonly known as Area 51, in January 2017.  I was immediately in love with the uniqueness of this space between the public path and Beverley Brook. As Susan showed me round she explained that it was a big plot that needed a lot of work.  Was I sure,  as some other smaller plots would be available shortly?  I was sure.  Having worked two previous allotments as I helper I was keen to have one of my own and this was really the one!

What jobs have you been doing on the allotment this month?

We have been on holiday for two weeks and I came back delighted that beans, cucumbers, raspberries, courgettes, beets, salads and potatoes are still in full production.  Now I am tidying up and making plans for autumn and next year. Meanwhile my husband Austin is busy making some more rustic seating from logs and discarded planks. This is part of the fun of an allotment and apart from the thrill of growing and harvesting ones own produce, the best part is getting to know the many friends who share a love of this special site.  Open Day and two get togethers are also on this month’s calendar for us.

What crop has done well this year?

In the spring we were happy to see the beautiful blossom on the large quince tree.  It is laden with fruit now and has me searching for recipes. My Japanese Wineberry has taken off and received many questions from passers by on the footpath.  So many crops seemed to love the hot summer we have had.

What are you planning to grow next season?

I am hoping to try out some more unusual veggies and maybe a kiwi fruit. I am making a decorative herb and flower bed and have to work on that as well as training two little apple trees I helped graft while I volunteered at Fulham Palace garden.

What’s your favourite recipe to make with your harvest?

That is a hard one as I love cooking. I make an easy pesto with the strong rocket I grew from seeds brought back from our son’s garden in Slovenia. There are many versions of pesto but it is such an easy and delicious thing to have in the fridge.  Mine is made with: rocket,  parmesan,  pine nuts and garlic (also from the allotment).  Put all in a food processer with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In addition to gardening of course, do you have any other hobbies or skills?

I once had a catering business and enjoy cooking. After running my own specialist stationery and gift shop for many years I studied paper making at Morley College. I would like to try plant fibres from the plot to make some stationery.  I love taking photos,  fruit, flowers and veggies,  and sheds and benches, tend to feature quite a lot!

Our thanks to Ronnie for taking the time to answer our questions this month and provide a look into her allotment world.  If you’d like to be interviewed for next month’s newsletter, please contact us!

2018 BHAS Annual Show Winners

PRIZE WINNERS

OVERALL WINNER

Mike Goodwin (plot 57, Priory)

RUNNERS UP

Rashid (plot 48, Hertford), Deborah Genders (plot 29, Hertford), Pam Islip (plot 36, Priory).

OVERALL CHILDREN’S WINNER

Oliver Goodwin

CHILDREN’S RUNNERS UP

All other winners: William Lambert, Adelaide Kennedy, Holly Lambert, Pandora Kennedy, Miles Goodwin, Hollie and Miles Hess, Isla and Freddie Dawson.

Show Winners

1. Aubergine
1st – Amani Orr Ewing (plot 4, Palewell Park)
2nd – Pam Islip (plot 36, Priory)
3rd – Mark
2. Pepper
1st – Mark
2nd – Oliver Goodwin
3rd – Rashid  (plot 48, Hertford)
3. Chillies
1st – Rashid  (plot 48, Hertford)
2nd – Pandora Kennedy
3rd – Mark
4. Beetroot
1st – Alfonso Moreno (plot 63, Priory)
2nd – Goodwin (plot 57, Priory)
3rd – Chris and Jan, (plot 8, Triangle)
5. Green Beans
1st – Terry Farrar
2nd – Sophie Kennedy (plot 5A, Palewell Park)
3rd – Terry Farrar
6. Runner Beans
1st – Chris and Jan, (plot 8, Triangle)
2nd – Goodwin (plot 57, Priory)
3rd – Terry Farrar
7. Carrots – No entries
8. Courgettes
1st – Ronnie Bendall (plot 51, Hertford)
2nd – Goodwin (plot 57, Priory)
3rd – Tally Foster (plot 8, Palewell Park)
9. Cucumber
1st – Janet Bostock (plot 39, Hertford)
2nd – Goodwin (plot 57, Priory)
3rd – Pam Islip (plot 36, Priory)
10. Garlic – No entries
11. Marrow
1st – Terry Farrar
2nd – Oliver Goodwin
12. Onions
1st – Goodwin (plot 57, Priory)
13. Shallots
1st – Rashid  (plot 48, Hertford)
2nd – Deborah Genders (plot 29, Hertford)
14. Potatoes
1st – Goodwin (plot 57, Priory)
2nd – Rashid  (plot 48, Hertford)
3rd – Rashid  (plot 48, Hertford)
15. Pumpkins/Squash
1st – Paul Edelin (plot 15, Palewell Park)
2nd – Harriet Graham (plot 38, Priory)
3rd – Derek Lawrence-Brown (plot 26, Hertford)
16. Sweetcorn – No entries
17. Beef Tomatoes
1st – Deborah Genders (plot 29, Hertford)
2nd – Goodwin (plot 57, Priory)
18. Cherry Tomatoes
1st – Pam Islip (plot 36, Priory)
2nd – Pam Islip (plot 36, Priory) /Janet Bostock (plot 39, Hertford)
3rd – Pam Islip (plot 36, Priory)
19. Tomatoes (medium)
1st – Pam Islip (plot 36, Priory)
2nd – Rashid  (plot 48, Hertford)
3rd – Tally Foster (plot 8, Palewell Park)
20. Basket of mixed vegetables
1st – G. Hazell, plot 55
2nd – Mark
3rd – Paul Eelin (plot 15, Palewell Park)
21. Any other vegetables
1st – Mark
2nd – Giuliana (plot 21, Hertford)
3rd – Terry Farrar
22. Biggest vegetable
1st – John Padgett (plot 41A, Hertford)
2nd – Freddie Dawson
3rd – Giuliana (plot 21, Hertford)
23. Herbs in a jam jar
1st – Deborah Genders (plot 29, Hertford)
2nd – Ronnie Bendall (plot 51, Hertford)
3rd – Rashid  (plot 48, Hertford)
24. Apples
1st – Deborah Genders (plot 29, Hertford)
2nd – Janet Bostock (plot 39, Hertford)
3rd – Ben 26
25. Top fruit (Pears/Plums/Quinces)
1st – Ronnie Bendall (plot 51, Hertford)
2nd – David Foster
3rd – Rashid  (plot 48, Hertford)
26. Soft fruit 
1st – David Foster
2nd – Deborah Genders (plot 29, Hertford)
27. Blackberries – no entries
28. Any other fruit 
1st – G. Hazell
2nd – Ben 26
29. Mixed flowers in a vase
1st – Rashid  (plot 48, Hertford)
30. A single variety of flowers in a vase
1st – Ronnie Bendell (plot 51, Hertford), Tally Foster (plot 8, Palewell Park), Goodwin (plot 57, Priory), Oliver Goodwin
31. No entries – Dahlias
32. Sunflower
1st – Goodwin (plot 57, Priory)

Children’s categories

33. Children’s – artwork
1st – Hollie and Miles Hess
2nd – Adelaide Kennedy
3rd – Pandora Kennedy
34. Children’s – mini garden seed tray
1st – William Lambert
2nd – Adelaide Kennedy
3rd – Holly Lambert, Pandora Kennedy, Miles Goodwin, Oliver Goodwin
35. Children’s – courgette pet
1st – Isla and Freddie Dawson
2nd – Pandora Kennedy, Oliver Goodwin, Miles Goodwin
3rd – Adelaide Kennedy

Baking categories

Unfortunately, in the excitement of the day, we didn’t record the winners of the baking categories (but they were delicious)!
If you won and would like your name added, please contact us.

BEST ALLOTMENTS 2018

Judging the allotments every year is a pleasure and a pain!

A pleasure because I always find some truly beautiful little plots I’ve never seen before and a pain because it is so difficult to decide who will be winners.

Allotments are not just a piece of ground to grow healthy fruit and vegetables and beautiful flowers, they have always been a space for recreation and relaxation where friends and family can meet and work together, an escape from the stresses of modern London, an oasis of calm in an increasingly busy world.

Bearing all this in mind, when I judge the allotments, I mark everyone out of 100 with roughly 40% for quantity and quality of produce, 40% for overall appearance including creativity and design, and 20% for pest and disease prevention, recycling, composting, and wild life encouragement.

BEST ALLOTMENTS

OVERALL CUP WINNER FOR BEST PLOT OUT OF ALL ALLOTMENT SITES

John Hynd at Priory (No.76)

PRIORY SITE

WINNERS

John Hynd (plot 76) and Emily Coates (plot 10)

Emily (Plot no. 10) has had a plot for donkey’s years; it is a very small plot under some large trees, but it has always been immaculate with edged grass paths, beautifully espaliered fruit trees, lovely flowers, and a good variety of excellent fruit and vegetables.

John (Plot No.76) has also had his plot for many years, but last year decided to completely renovate his allotment, which included removing everything but the fruit trees.  This renovation included double digging the area to remove bindweed, shovelling in large quantities of manure, putting up sturdy cages to protect fruit and vegetables, and pruning and retraining fruit trees. All the hard work is evident in the vegetables fruit and flowers on his plot this summer and while work is still in progress, the Site Reps and I felt all his hard work deserved a prize.

RUNNERS UP

David Waterhouse, Terry Farrar, Boo and Donal Douglas, Geoff de Metz, Finnie Harrington, Mike Goodwin, James Duncan, Janet Lavender, Susan Moore

  • David Waterhouse (No. 11) lovely pond neat boxed beds with lots of vegetables
  • Terry Farrar (No. 23) for his pumpkins and brassicas.
  • Boo and Donal Douglas (No. 33) for the sheer amount of produce.
  • Mike Goodwin (No. 57) for the scare crow, good design and lovely flowers.
  • James Duncan (No.67) for pretty wicker bed surrounds and lovely Dahlias.
  • Janet Lavender (No.65) for lots of good produce and nice little pond.
  • Geoff de Metz (No. 43)
  • Finnie Harrington (No. 45)
  • Desmond Millen (No. 49)
  • Susan Moore (No. 68)

HERTFORD AVENUE

WINNER

Jenny Jefferies (plot 19)

Jenny has had her plot (No. 19) for a good few years, but despite illness and injury it has always been a “prize winner” with clean wood chip paths, lots of excellent fruit, vegetables all well protected, and rows of bright flowers including magnificent sweet peas.

RUNNERS UP

Tim, Michael French, Helen Lawrence, David and Nikki Dawson, John Edgar, Warwick Radford, Caroline Bendall, Hans Weisskopf

  • Tim (No. 10) for excellent vegetables and watch out for his enormous brussel sprouts!
  • Michael French (No. 33) for his very neat boxed beds filled withherbs and flowers.
  • Helen Lawrence (No. 38) neat grass paths, well trained and protected fruit and vegetables.
  • David and Nikki Dawson (No. 25) were novice winners last year and the plot still looks good and productive.
  • John Edgar (No.28) as always good vegetables (and I’m sure he uses a spirit level for his beds and paths!)
  • Warwick Radford (No. 40A) has very pretty design.
  • Caroline (Ronnie) Bendall (No. 51) is hidden away at the bottom of Hertford Ave. Very creative use of wood from cut trees with good vegetables despite the shade.
  • Hans Weisskopf (next to Jenny) is our oldest allotment holder and still producing vast amounts of fruit and vegetables.

THE TRIANGLE

The Triangle is probably the most difficult site to propagate. The upper, older half has terrible drainage with underground springs and water pipes. Perennial weeds such as mares tail and brambles can make the plot holders life a misery.  The lower half of the site was laid out in the 1990s with bad topsoil laid over stones and gravel and some large trees by the Pitch and Putt make this area very shady. Anyone with a plot on this site deserves praise.

WINNER

Freddie Dawson (plot 8)

Freddie and his wife (No. 8) have had the plot for 2 years and despite all obstacles have produced an amazing amount of good quality fruit and vegetables.

RUNNER UP

Sheena Clarke (plot 12A)

Plot No. 12A Sheena Clarkes. It has very neat raised beds in an attempt to combat the mares tail which has worked, but the struggle continues – good luck new plotholder!

THE PAVILION                                                

Tucked away behind a thick hedge by Palewell Park sports pitch, many of you will not have visited this site. It’s like a little world of its own. There are some lovely plots here but unfortunately it’s really difficult to find the numbers so some of you may have missed a mention…

WINNER

Giles Dimock (plot 7)

Giles (No.7) has grown some excellent produce with strong cages for protection and a good composting area.

RUNNER UP

Nick and Harriet Hinton (plot 2)

A prize-winning plot with neat raised beds filled at the moment with plenty of flowers and herbs.

PALEWELL PARK

WINNER

Amani Orr-Earling (plot 4)

I wasn’t able to visit this site (No. 4) but according to their Site Rep this plot is always neat and productive and an inspiration to other plot holders!

RUNNER UP

Mr. and Mrs. Pratt (No. 7)

BEST NOVICE PLOTS

Not many nominations this year.

WINNER

Nadia Mackenzie at Priory Plot No. 40A

A tremendous amount of work has gone into this plot to produce new beds filled with good vegetables in just over a year.

RUNNER UP

Antonia Wyld at Hertford Ave No. 32A

Very new plotholders, new raised beds were constructed and a very hard-working lady shovelled in tons of topsoil through the heat of the summer. More work in progress so a possible prize winner next year…